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Is there still hope for the.338 federal?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MISportsman, Sep 15, 2022.

  1. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    I think that particular Savage is a GREAT option. I obsessed over building a .338 Fed AR for a long time vs buying the Savage and just when I was ready to pull the trigger on the Savage they dropped it from production. Of course I could probably find one on BG or similar, but the bubble kind of burst for me and I went on to focus on bolt guns instead for a while.

    I thought Savage had some great upgrades on their MSRs, but it looks like they have dropped them altogether. What a shame. Is this the one you have, the Hunter model?

    CS04002-1.jpg
     
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  2. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Maybe you meant the 8.6mm Blackout?
     
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  3. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    Just to further the background info, it will be in an ar10. I got a great deal on a blem lower and I already have a .308. I thought I could build a great hard hitting woods gun with the .338.
     
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  4. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    Go for it!
    I know some people say there's not much difference between it and a .308, but I have found you can load the .338 to be a pretty big step up in power and speed. Plenty of components still available right now. Let us know how it turns out! :thumbup:
     
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  5. lovethosesooners

    lovethosesooners Member

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    yes, it’s the hunter model.,,I’ve been really pleased with it and the light weight factor plays a big part in it

    was surprised to see they dropped the line as well but that’s a very crowded market
     
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  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    They made a 338 fed Savage MSR? I can't believe I missed the news on that!
     
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  7. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    The other option I was looking into is the .358 win. It would be a great thumper, the .338 fed just looked better on paper
     
  8. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    The .358Win also has it's advantages.

    Again higher velocity capable with the same bullet weights (like the .338Fed VS .308Win), the ability to use pistol bullets for plinking/practice. The latter can be a big deal as I can shoot pistol bullets in my .350RM for about half the cost of rifle bullets. It's still being produced, so better chance of finding factory ammo & brass. As far as effectiveness I doubt anything at woods distances will notice a difference.
     
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  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    But the 358 has the option of cooler cast bullets.
    I like both the 338 and 358.
    I have a Whelen and wish it was a 358Win instead.
    My experience has shown the larger bullet diameter allows for similar killing ability with lower velocity. This kind of defeats the more retained energy of the smaller diameter bullet. Unless you start stretching the distance beyond my normal hunting ranges.

    If you're hunting the UP. My experience was I either wanted buckshot or a 400 plus yard rifle.
     
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  10. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I had a really sweet Tikka T3. I paid money for it, but at $250, I feel more like I stole it. Made a nice profit on it. Never would have sold it it wasn't in 338 Federal, and that was 10 years ago.
     
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  11. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    I live in the lower peninsula, but one of the purposes if the rifle would be a bear hunt in the up next fall!
     
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  12. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    That sounds fun. Are you planning to do a guided hunt? Or are you doing it yourself?
    Either chambering would be a great choice.
     
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  13. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    We are still working out the details. I am thinking of going guided I will probably start contacting outfitters after this year's season's over when they're not quite so busy. I thought about doing a DIY but I do not have time to keep running up there to maintain bait sites leading up to our hunt.
     
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  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    There were a couple outfits in Baraga county and southern Houghton county that did well every year.
     
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  15. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    Baraga is one of the area's we were looking into
     
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  16. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I wasn't impressed with it. Tried several different powders with 200gr Speers and could never get within 150fps of the Federal Fusion load and the ones that were within 150-200fps of Federal were compressed loads. I shot 2 deer and sold it. It is a decent cartridge, but nothing special.
     
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  17. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    im still wishing there was hope for the 358 win
     
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  18. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    It looks to be more supported than the .338 fed. I'm at this point leaning more that way.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    A friend danced around a .358 Win barrel for his underutilized 6mm for a long time.
    But then the .338 Fed came out and he changed his mind.
    He was disappointed that his .338 dies would not give good bullet pull with expanded .308 brass.
     
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  20. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    What exactly does that mean?

    DM
     
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  21. CrazyHands13

    CrazyHands13 Member

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    The 338 Federal is in an awkward spot in terms of its caliber and velocities IMO. As said previously, anything the 338 Fed does, the 308 Win does better. The 338 caliber at these velocities requires that the hunter carefully select the right bullet for the job and then can see good results, otherwise I believe you won't be transferring the energy potential out of the bullet into the animal. The 308 and the 358 Win do not have this problem as much at their velocities and respective caliber.
     
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  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Meant that when he ran a .308 case through his .338 Fed dies, the bullet was loose in the case neck. Probably because expanding the .308 to .338 thinned the brass.
     
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  23. MISportsman

    MISportsman Member

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    I'm leaning towards the .358, but the only barrel I can find is a 16". Would I keep enough velocity to be worth it?
     
  24. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    ^^ This is good rational advice that many people would have been better off to have considered carefully for most of the boutique/novelty rounds over the years, IMO. It's very rare that there's not a mainstream round that is so close in performance to the novelty round that one can't even tell the difference between the two without some pretty sophisticated instruments.

    That said, if someone really wants to go the way of the road not often taken, there's nothing wrong with that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
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  25. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    The good news is, the .308 does Ok in short 16" barrels. The .358 will have increased MV over the .308W (that whole expansion ratio thing again). I'd hazard a guess that the loss will be about 20-25FPS per inch, so maybe 100FPS off of a 20". Each barrel is a rule upon itself though... Regardless, you'll lose some velocity and subsequent range, there's no free lunch.

    Now whether the increased portability, weight savings etc. is worth it to you is a personal thing. I've seen guys using 16" tubes because they plan on adding a suppressor.

    Honestly though, IF I wanted a 20" or 18", there's no way I'd get a 16" just because it's available, patience is a virtue. It also saves quite a bit of money skipping the whole "I finally got what I really wanted anyway after spending twice as much" syndrome.

    There shouldn't be any issue reloading the .338 federal with a host of common bullets available. When in doubt, just shoot the bullet manufacture and Email asking what their recommendation is for minimum velocity for expansion. Nosler for instance lists 1800FPS as the minimum for their NABs and their Partitions.

    Going back to Strelok again, a 200 grn .338 NAB started at 2700 is still at 1831FPS out to 450yds and has 1490 lbs of energy.

    Even IF it started at 2500 (IMHO, worst case 16" barrel), it would still be at 1800 FPS out to 350yds, and carry 1500lbs of energy.

    So the OP would loose about 100yds of effective range based on wanting either of those bullets to expand reliably IAW the manufacturers recommendation.

    But in this case, looking a a woods rifle, we're talking some pretty big woods, with some far spaced trees before we'd have an issue with bullet expansion.

    I could easily run the numbers with .358 bullets, but the results would be similar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2022
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